The Merrick Fund
Helping animal rescues and shelters save lives Contact Us
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for medical care
Who is Merrick
Why We Exist
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ENDED OCT 31
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Patriot News Article December 9, 2007
Dog's tragic life inspires creation of charity
Sunday, December 09, 2007
BY ELLEN LYON
Of The Patriot-News
Merrick, a yellow Labrador retriever abandoned without food or water in an East Pennsboro Twp. apartment, didn't know much of human kindness, but his story has inspired a fund to help other homeless animals.
When Merrick was found in June 2006, he had an open tumor on his side that was infested with bees.
He died the next day as he was being transported to a veterinarian at the East Shore shelter of the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area Inc. Evelyn Bertoni of Lower Swatara Twp. said her reaction to news reports of Merrick's death was "tears for days," followed by the resolve "to do something about this."
Amy Wimmersberger, also of Lower Swatara Twp. and a former coordinator of the Dauphin County Animal Response Team, had a similar reaction. "I was sick to my stomach," she said. "And I knew I had to do something."
So the two dog lovers created the Merrick Fund Foundation on Sept. 1. It is designed to get emergency and catastrophic veterinary care for shelter animals.
The fund has already helped three dogs:
• Alex, a shar-pei/chow mix who came to the Humane Society as a stray with open sores, hair loss and a serious infection under her skin, received allergy testing and treatment. She is in a foster home and available for adoption.
• Marshall, a mixed-breed who was tied up and repeatedly shot at, had to have a back leg amputated. Now in the care of Homeward Bound Rescue, he also is available for adoption.
• Jersey, a Yorkshire terrier who was hit by a car, required hip surgery and has since been adopted from the Humane Society.
The Merrick Fund Foundation is registered as a charity with the state Bureau of Charitable Organizations. The organizers said they are picking up all administrative costs, so 100 percent of donations will go to veterinary care.
ELLEN LYON: 255-8167 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• HOW TO HELP
• Donations can be sent to The Merrick Fund Foundation, Administrator, P.O. Box 4323, Harrisburg, PA 17111-0323.
• For more information, visit merrick-fund.org
Evening Sun Article April 28, 2008
The Evening Sun
Dying Dog rescued: Adams SPCA aids German Shepherd's recovery
April 28, 2008
By ERIN JAMES
Evening Sun Reporter
With the freedom to roam the farmland at his new Littlestown home, Jericho is living the good life.
It is a big difference from the 2-foot chain and ice-filled shelter to which the 8-year-old German shepherd was confined only weeks ago, when Adams County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officer Brandi Luther rescued him from near starvation.
When she found him, she said Jericho was the worst case of animal neglect she had ever seen. At the time, he weighed only 38 pounds. For weeks, SPCA staff watched the dog make a comeback none of them expected, and his life is nothing short of a miracle, Luther said.
"He went from being unable to stand and walk by himself to, just in two to three weeks, he was able to jog and play with other dogs," she said. Jericho's recovery has been so remarkable that Luther said she feels compelled to tell people about it.
In March, Luther said she received a tip from a utility-company worker that a dog was being neglected at a home in Heidlersburg. When she arrived to investigate the allegation, Luther said she immediately determined that Jericho was in imminent danger and needed to be removed. The dog - whom SPCA staff gave his biblical name - was taken to the Confederate Woods Veterinary Hospital in Gettysburg, though veterinary workers said there was little hope Jericho would recover. But a long-shot blood transfusion administered by the Frederick Veterinary Referral Group saved Jericho's life, Luther said. There was little debate over whether to attempt a transfusion in an effort to save the dog's life, she said. "If that was his only chance of recovering, that was what we were going to do," Luther said.
Jericho's former owners, Owen and Jennifer Sterner of Heidlersberg, have since pleaded guilty to charges of animal cruelty, according to the office of District Justice Mark Beauchat.
Meanwhile, Jericho weighs 70 pounds and is expected to be given a clean bill of health within weeks. Then, the dog will be removed from his Littlestown foster home and become available for adoption at the Adams County SPCA, Luther said.
So far, the Merrick Foundation has covered Jericho's medical costs, but donations are needed to supplement that fund. Soon, Jericho will need a new place to call home. For a dog who was literally dying in front of her, Luther said Jericho's new name is more than appropriate. "All his walls came tumbling down," she said.